Raptors @ Knicks: MSG 7:30PM
The New York Knicks are on the tail end of a back-to back against the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks grabbed the first game 99-94, as the Raptors try to win a game at MSG to take the series 3-1, while the Knicks try to even out the series 2-2.
Keys to the Game:
- Melo has to be Melo. I know that sounds stupid, but it is true. The only problem I foresee with Melo is his minutes. Woody has to limit his minutes so he can be fresh for the playoffs.
- JR Smith needs to continue what he has been doing. He has been driving to the hole with aggression, getting fouled or creating shots for others. It looks like JR has figured his game out with a well-balanced attack. I hope he can continue this trend in the playoffs.
- Kenyon Martin was a monster last night. He had season highs in rebounds and points, but more than that he has been very aggressive on both ends of the court. He converts lay-ups, put-backs and pick and roll plays with authority. This is much needed in the Knicks offense. Kenyon also is very active on defense, which helps NY get key stops at opportune times.
- Felton, Kidd and Prigioni are all important to the team, but they don’t have to be at the same time. In other words, if one of them can control the offensive pace of the game the Knicks have a great chance to win any match-up. Felton makes me a little nervous sometimes with his shot selection, especially late in games, however last night he hit a big three that pretty much clinched the game for NY.
- Chris Copeland and Steve Novak: If Kenyon can continue his energy and smarts in the Knicks line-up, then New York could have a nice rotation of Melo,Tyson (when he comes back) and Martin. Cope or Novak can come in to replace Melo, Tyson or Martin and the Knicks line-up would still be potent without missing a beat. Cope and Novak can stretch the floor to create room for the “bigs” to operate.
Overall, this game tonight is a winnable one. If the Knicks want to widen their lead in the Atlantic they must win this game. The Nets are at the Clippers and Boston is facing Memphis after losing 3 in a row. With a win tonight and a Boston and Brooklyn loss, the Knicks could be up 2.5 on Brooklyn and 6.5 on Boston, not to mention they are only 1 game back of Indiana for the 2 seed. After all the tough weeks of blowouts and injuries the Knicks are still in good position. Lets Get It!
Peter A – Knickswag